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Pepperdine to Celebrate the Music of New Orleans with Take Me to the River Concert

October 22, 2019  | 5 min read

Take Me to the RiverVarious talented performers will celebrate the musical history, heritage, and legacy of New Orleans in a special production of Take Me to the River LIVE! — Celebrating the Music of New Orleans at Smothers Theatre in Malibu on Sunday, October 27, at 7 PM.

Take Me to The River LIVE! brings some of the most influential artists of modern New Orleans funk, R&B, soul, and jazz together on the same stage for a night of unforgettable music. Featuring both individual and collaborative performances, Take Me to The River is packed with three generations of legendary Crescent City talent: the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Ivan Neville, Ian Neville, and Walter “Wolfman” Washington, plus Mardi Gras Native Americans with “Big Chief” Monk Boudreaux of The Golden Eagles and “Big Chief” Romeo of the 9th Ward Hunters.

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Celebrating over 40 years since their founding in 1977, New Orleans-based Dirty Dozen Brass Band has taken the traditional foundation of brass band music and incorporated it into a blend of genres including bebop jazz, funk and R&B/soul. This unique sound, described by the band as a “musical gumbo,” has allowed the Dirty Dozen to tour across five continents and more than 30 countries, record 12 studio albums and collaborate with a range of artists from Modest Mouse to Widespread Panic to Norah Jones. More than 40 years later, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band is a world-famous music machine whose name is synonymous with genre-bending romps and high-octane performances.

In 1977 the Dirty Dozen Social and Pleasure Club in New Orleans began showcasing a traditional Crescent City brass band. It was a joining of two proud, but antiquated, traditions at the time: social and pleasure clubs dated back over a century to a time when black southerners could rarely afford life insurance, and the clubs would provide proper funeral arrangements. Brass bands, early predecessors of jazz as we know it, would often follow the funeral procession playing somber dirges, then once the family of the deceased was out of earshot, burst into jubilant dance tunes as casual onlookers danced in the streets. By the late ‘70s, few of either existed. The Dirty Dozen Social and Pleasure Club decided to assemble this group as a house band, and over the course of these early gigs, the seven-member ensemble adopted the venue’s name: The Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

Ivan Neville, Ian Neville

Ivan Neville and Ian Neville, members of Dumpstaphunk, stand out among New Orleans’ best as part of one of the funkiest bands to ever arise from the Crescent City. Born on the Jazz & Heritage Festival stage, and descended from Neville family bloodlines, these soldiers of funk ignite a deep, gritty groove that dares listeners not to move. Their performances combine ingenious musicianship and complex funk and jazz arrangements.

Ivan has played and appeared on several Neville Brothers records, two Rolling Stones albums, as well as his father Aaron Neville’s solo records. He has performed in Bonnie Raitt’s band and was a member of Keith Richards’ solo band, the X-Pensive Winos. With Dumpstaphunk, Ivan and Ian have performed on the Late Show with David Letterman and become mainstays at music festivals across the country.

Walter “Wolfman” Washington

Walter “Wolfman” Washington has been a mainstay on the New Orleans music scene. He cut his teeth backing up some of the best singers and performers in New Orleans history before putting together his long-time band The Roadmasters who have been burning down and burning up local and national stages since their first gigs in the 1980s. His guitar style combines both rhythm and blues, New Orleans funk, and modern jazz into a way of playing that is uniquely his. His singing is emotional and heartfelt. His guitar work is intricate, intimate, and full. There is a little Bobby Blue Bland, a little Kenny Burrell, a little George Benson, a little church, and a lot of New Orleans charm and experience in Washington’s performances. He is known for doing his own soulful originals and then tackling some great unsung covers such as Johnny Guitar Watson's “You Can Stay but That Noise Got to Go,” Otis Redding’s “Nobody's Fault but Mine,” and Bill Withers’ “Use Me.” In this day and age of musicians imitating the past or trying to recreate it, Washington stands out as a musician steeped in history but completely contemporary.

Big Chief Monk Boudreaux

The New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian phenomenon is part music, part heritage, part ancestry, part revelry, part fashion, and oft misunderstood. Big Chief Monk Boudreaux is one of the most famous and enduring leaders of that culture and head of the Golden Eagle Mardi Gras Indian tribe. Joseph Pierre “Big Chief Monk” Boudreaux is the leader of the Golden Eagles, a Mardi Gras Indian tribe of New Orleans, Louisiana. Born in New Orleans on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1941, Boudreaux is a vital figure in the tradition, and has steadfastly distinguished himself as a gifted folk artist and dynamic performing musician through his unwavering dedication to this singular African American culture. Boudreaux is known for his long-time collaboration with Big Chief Bo Dollis and the Wild Magnolia group, though he left the group nearly a decade ago to form the Golden Eagle Mardi Gras Indians. His latest album Rising Sun is a collaboration with Reverend Goat Carson, a professed “Renegade Cherokee.” In 2016 Boudreaux was given the lifetime honor of the National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Big Chief Romeo Bougere of the 9th Ward Hunters

Romeo Bougere, chief of the 9th Ward Hunters gang is a regular at the legendary Tipitina’s and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. With the 79ers Gang, he has also performed with the Stooges and Papa Mali.

Producer: Martin Shore 

Award winning filmmaker and Grammy nominated producer/musician Martin Shore (Director/Producer/Writer) started his career as a musician. Shore has toured with Bo Diddley, Albert Collins, Bluesman Willie, and many others. He has produced soundtracks and has acted as music supervisor for a number of feature films, including SawSaw IIRize, and Rock School, among others.

He has been a music producer for a variety of artists, including Snoop Dogg, G-Eazy, Yo Gotti, Mavis Staples, Booker T. Jones, North Mississippi Allstars, and many others.

As a feature film producer, Shore’s films have been featured in many international film festivals around the world, including Cannes, Tribeca, Sundance, SXSW, Raindance, and the Los Angeles Film Festival. A partial list of his credits as film producer include: Hood of Horror (2006), starring Snoop Dogg; Michael Cuesta’s Tell Tale (2009), starring Josh Lucas and Lena Headey and produced with Ridley and Tony Scott; Julie Delpy’s The Countess (2009), starring Delpy and William Hurt; 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams (2010); and Dark Tide(2012), starring Halle Berry.

As a Grammy-nominated producer and musician Shore has toured most recently with Cody Dickinson and his band Hill Country Revue and just finished a 40-city tour with Take Me to the River LIVE! featuring William Bell, Bobby Rush, and Charlie Musselwhite. He is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Sciences (Grammy Awards) and the Producers Guild of America.

Take Me to the River (2014), Shore’s debut film as a director, won the Audience Award at SXSW, Best Film at Raindance London, and numerous other awards (eight other festivals around the world). He is the founder of the Take Me to the River Education Initiative, a non-profit 501c3, that provides common core curriculum in both history and social studies, and is part of the permanent curriculum in schools across the country including New York City public schools, with a mission to bring art, culture, and music back into public schools. Their education partner is the Berklee College of Music. The New School in NYC has recently committed to building a college credited course beginning in the fall of 2018.

Shore has been a guest lecturer at colleges across the country and did a residency at the Berklee College of Music campus in Valencia Spain.

His follow up film Mad Hannans (2018) recently won Best Documentary at the Manchester Film Festival.

Ticket prices range between $10 and $55. For additional information about this performance, and to purchase tickets, visit the Center for the Arts website.